As a child, your parents likely reminded you every day that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — even as you reached for the front door without even making your way towards the kitchen. As an adult, you may grab a toaster strudel or a cupcake from the night before and feel a sense of satisfaction in knowing you're starting the day off on the right foot. Right?
Well, not exactly. While eating breakfast in the morning is essential for providing your body with the nutrition it lost while you were asleep, it's equally as important to prioritize eating healthy.
You may already be spewing out the list of excuses as to why you can’t cook a healthy breakfast — but what about the reasons you should? A nutritious meal in the morning will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day, boost your metabolism and make you feel full longer so that you consume fewer calories daily. Preparing healthy meals can also be cheap and easy, so what's not to love?
Put down that chocolate chip muffin and pick up the spatula instead — here are seven easy breakfast recipes you can serve your family with the satisfaction of added healthfulness and taste.
1. Avocados and Toast
At times, hitting the snooze button is necessary — especially on a Sunday morning. But that doesn’t mean sleeping in has to be synonymous with eating an unhealthy breakfast, either. If you have a loaf of bread sitting on your counter and a few fresh avocados lining your fridge door, you can sleep in and enjoy a nutritious meal when you wake up.
Just pop your bread into the toaster and mash a few scoops of avocado on top of each slice. Drizzle oil or lemon juice over the toast and serve. Avocados make you feel full longer, which means you can head back to bed after breakfast without waking up to unbearable cravings later in the day, too.
2. Yogurt and Fruit Parfait
You might already make yogurt your daily go-to breakfast snack for mornings you’re on the go. As you pack the family into a car for a quick trip to grandma’s house, make sure you give them a delicious fruit and yogurt parfait instead.
Fruit yogurts may come in strawberry, blueberry and peach flavors, but nothing can replace the real deal. The sugars in yogurt supply empty calories while the sweetness in fruit is entirely natural and energizing. Add fresh fruit to plain Greek yogurt for a tasty breakfast treat the whole family can enjoy.
3. Kale and Spinach Breakfast Pizza
You could warm up that leftover pizza sitting in the back of your fridge. Or you could enjoy a freshly baked ricotta cheese pizza full of nutritious greens instead.
Simply roll a piece of pizza dough into a thin layer and top with your favorite meats and veggies. Be sure to include kale and spinach, two greens overflowing with high levels of nutritional value and vitamins. Mix in your favorite cheese and pop the pizza in the oven while you unwind to a morning TV show with the family as your healthy pizza cooks with ease.
4. Beta Green Omelet
Sometimes, a classic breakfast is just enough to hit the spot. There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cooked eggs to get your family out of bed and into the kitchen, too.
Eggs pair excellently with greens and various other vegetables, which makes them the ultimate healthy breakfast option. Heat up your skillet with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and whisk your eggs and greens together in a mixing bowl. Simply pour the mixture into the pan and cook the eggs to your desired level of softness or crispness. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein and vitamins, so you'll want to check out other breakfast egg recipes, too.
5. Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
You may want to skip the chocolate chip muffins, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a healthier muffin alternative instead. Blueberries serve as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich food that help keep your and your family's bodies healthy throughout the day — which makes them the perfect filling for a delicious morning snack.
When baking your muffins, be sure to include oats in your recipe for an added helping of protein. Combine your oats with the appropriate servings of flour, baking powder and salt. Mix a few tablespoons of milk with oil and an egg. Pop your ingredients into the oven and enjoy the aromatic smell of a healthy breakfast your family will want to dig into for breakfast.
6. Quinoa Porridge
If you have a family member who can't eat gluten, then quinoa is the food for you! You don't have to follow a gluten-free diet to reap the benefits of this nutritious food. Quinoa is rich in fiber, iron, and magnesium — all of which help keep your body in optimum working shape throughout the day.
For healthiness made easy, just heat quinoa, almond milk and cinnamon in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir the contents for roughly 20 minutes and taste the sweet and delicious flavor of a meal your body will thank you for.
7. Banana, Strawberry and Peanut Butter Smoothie
A smoothie for breakfast? You read that right — and we promise this isn’t a dessert. A strawberry and banana breakfast smoothie provides you with your daily heaping of fruits right at the start of the day. What truly ties this drink together though is the peanut butter — a healthy fat that’s loaded with flavor, too.
You can spend a few extra minutes in bed this Sunday morning without having to worry about skipping on a healthy breakfast entirely. Simply place a few handfuls of strawberries, bananas, yogurt and ice cubes in a blender. Top your mixture off with several tablespoons of organic peanut butter and blend a nutritious breakfast in a matter of seconds. Eating healthy really is that easy.
Start the Day Right
Do yourself — and your family — a favor by indulging in a nutritious breakfast that brings both taste and nutrition to the table. While the added benefits of vitamins and fibers are reason enough to designate these meals a keeper, the clanks of your family member’s forks readily hitting the bowls in the morning will make you realize these healthy recipes are here to stay.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.